You can aptly call educationist Hardeep S Chandpuri a man of many shades — from being the one who revolutionalised the radio scene in north-India, and holding the Limca Book of World Records for running The Academy of Broadcasting (India’s largest radio jockey training academy, based in Chandigarh) to winning the prestigious Bharat Jyoti Award 2013 for his contribution to the field of creative education.
As if these achievements weren’t enough, the man also runs the Writeway Literary Facilitators Programme, to help mentor budding writers, besides running a publishing house by the name of Ferntree. Now, Chandpuri is ready with two back-to-back books, ready to hit book shelves next month. We get the man talking about donning so many hats and the enthusiasm that keeps him going.
Talking about his latest achievement, winning the Bharat Jyoti Award, Chandpuri says, “Winning this award was special for me because I won it in the field of creative education, that too by the India International Friendship Society at the India International Centre (on August 24). The award was given to me by former Indian Army chief, General JJ Singh.” The award has previously been bestowed upon actors Dev Anand, Pran, Rajesh Khanna, Shammi Kapoor, Sunil Dutt, Sunil Gavaskar, Sarod player Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Olympic silver medallist (hockey) Dhanraj Pillay.
About the books that he has authored, which include one fiction story, titled Haani, and a book on radio jockeying, titled A to Z of Radio Jockeying, Chandpuri says, “I penned both my books — one fiction and one non-fiction — simultaneously, because I found penning A to Z of Radio Jockeying a little tough, despite spending about two decades in the field of radio broadcasting. I used to feel restricted while writing it, as I could not let my imagination run free; A to Z of Radio Jockeying offers an insight into the radio industry, as all information has been compiled into chapters as per the English alphabet. The book tackles the nuances of the profession and will go a long way in guiding students gain knowledge to succeed in the profession.”
Chandpuri’s fiction book, Expendable Souls, narrates the story of India’s first female vampire hunter Haani, about which he says, “Expendable Souls is a story of a vampire hunter, an average Punjabi girl, who also dresses up in Patiala suits and juttis, but has a unique gift of identifying vampires. In my story, the vampires have gotten mixed with the human race. So, the protagonist, Haani, sets out at night to hunt these vampires down and kill them. I have tried to spread the message of good always prevailing over evil.” Both the books will see an October release.
Besides penning books, what keeps Chandpuri busy is his publishing house, says he, “I did a reality check on the business of writing and getting your work published. My initial experiences at getting my works published really put me down, that’s when I realised how difficult it is for upcoming authors to get their work published. So, I decided to start my own publishing house by the name of Ferntree Publishing. The first book that we published was We Create History by Charandeep Singh. The next book to be published is The Rightful Owner, which is going to be out this month. Ferntree is also getting into Punjabi translations of these books, because I want good work to reach the grass-root level.” His publishing house also manages the e-book and iPad versions of books, says Chandpuri. “Our publishing house manages the latest e-versions in which books are published and translated to cater to the youth.”